Beloved sitcom actress Ann B. Davis, who passed away Sunday at age 88, was perhaps best known by modern audiences for her iconic role as Alice the housekeeper on '70s series "The Brady Bunch." But Davis had a stellar career long before she ever donned a maid's uniform, and it turns out that one of the actress's earliest roles made a huge impact on a current pop culture icon.

Davis gained acclaim for her performance as secretary Charmaine "Schultzy" Schultz on "The Bob Cummings Show," earning four Emmy nominations -- and nabbing two statuettes -- for Best Supporting Actress from 1955 to 1959. The character was universally popular, and even helped Davis get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, well before she joined the Bradys.

Davis and Schultzy were so revered that the character even made her way into Marvel comics, in the form of Pepper Potts, the love interest of Iron Man portrayed on the big screen today by Gwyneth Paltrow. Potts, in her earliest incarnations, closely resembled Schultzy both in looks and attitude, and according to Vanity Fair, both women were "loyal secretaries who pined after their womanizing boss."

Pepper eventually got a makeover, but it's still amazing to think that Davis left her mark on such a big piece of pop culture -- and that, thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, "Iron Man" and Pepper are still as popular today than they were back then. In remembering the late actress's legacy, we're glad that all of Davis' indelible contributions are getting the attention they deserve.

[via: Vanity Fair]

Image courtesy of Associated Press
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